Vikings too much for South Rowan
TROUTMAN — From the first play of the first series Friday, it was evident South Rowan was outmatched by South Iredell. The Vikings moved the ball with ease on that first possession.
It took only eight plays and 1 minute, 14 seconds for South Iredell to take an 8-0 lead on a drive capped by Briggs Lunsford’s 1-yard touchdown run and Michael Fisher’s two-point conversion.
Chris Holmes returned a South Rowan fumble by Eric Stowe for a touchdown on the first play of the ensuing drive, and South Iredell was on its way to a 44-9 season-opening victory.
“We were playing real well (at the start),” South Iredell head coach Scott Miller said. “We were playing fast.”
Fisher, the Vikings’ receiver-turned-running back, was the spark of the early dominance on offense. He needed only three carries to break the 100-yard barrier.
What looked like a touchdown run on the Vikings’ first possession was called back for a holding penalty. On the first play of the second possession, a shoestring tackle by South Rowan’s Peyton Penninger kept Fisher out of the end zone on that play. He scored his first touchdown of the game four plays later, and South Iredell was ahead 16-0.
He ended the game with 159 yards and two touchdowns on 16 carries.
“Mikey did really good,” Miller said. “That’s why we moved him back there; to get a spark on offense. He has really good field vision.
“Anytime Bill Mayhew says they can do it, you trust that.”
Quarterback Alex Crosby found a wide-open De’Andre Rankin about 33 yards down the field as the seconds ticked off in the final minute of the first quarter. Rankin caught the ball at the South Rowan 1 and back pedaled into the end zone. The Vikings led 30-0.
Crosby finished the game 11 of 15 for 156 yards and a pair of touchdowns. Ranking caught two passes for 71 yards.
Fisher’s one-yard touchdown run in the second quarter, his second of the game, gave South Iredell a 37-0 lead at halftime.
The frenetic scoring didn’t carry over to the second half.
South Rowan got on the board with a safety on a bad snap by South Iredell on a punt attempt from its 17-yard line midway into the third quarter.
Crosby hit Donshel Winford for an 8-yard scoring pass on the ensuing South Iredell possession for a 44-2 lead.
The Raiders were finally able to find the end zone late in the fourth quarter when Derrick Blackwell ran two yards for the Raiders’ only touchdown of the game. The play capped a five-play, 36-yard drive.
“It’s just you get hit like that first quarter, and the main thing is the kids kept fighting back in the second half,” South Rowan head coach Jason Rollins said.
Blackwell was the workhorse for the Raiders’ offense. His carry on the first play of the second half was a 67-yard run through South Iredell’s secondary that ended four yards shy of the end zone. South Iredell’s defense kept South Rowan from scoring, and the drive ended with an incomplete pass by quarterback Aaron Kennerly.
Blackwell ran for a team-high 135 yards on 20 carries. Kennerly had a 15-of-24 night for 178 yards.
South Iredell’s defense registered eight sacks.